Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Self Proclaimed Hack (Sorry Nick)

As I pulled up to the red light at Gregory St. I saw him sitting outside. His blue and green plaid Steven Alan shirt, rolled Dior chinos, white v-neck Hanes shirt and white Vans Authentics was unmistakable. It could be none other than Nick Maggio of A Time to Get, just the guy I was going to Kiyokawa to interview. After we introduced ourselves we jumped right into it. Walked into the popular organic Japanese restaurant which had decent food but horrible service and sat outside to get talking.

I dig the vintage California state flag and the work desk consisting of what looks like two different desks.


I had prepared for this for quite sometime, to the point that I had questions prepared and a pencil and Moleskine notebook to jot notes down on. None of that was necessary. Meeting Nick was like having lunch with an old friend, at least on my end. We started to discuss a plethora of topics everything from his girlfriend Mel to his past within the design world and so on and so forward. The most unconventional of interview I could have asked for. But I will try to make sense everything and give you the gist of what Nick is all about.

Nick graduated from Otis about 5 years ago with a focus in design, more specifically graphic design. After transferring to Otis from Santa Barbara City College, Nick wanted to focus on furniture design since it was what he had been doing lately and wanted to do. So he took his preliminary first year classes of what Otis calls the FYI (First Year Initiative). But unfortunately the curriculum for the furniture design program had been revamped and turned into a more architecture based program. Since he had already taking the FYI and not willing to restart from scratch he switched his focus from furniture design to graphic design. Which opened the gate for a phenomenal opportunity.

While at Otis Nick had the opportunity of interning at BLK/MRKT Inc. where he worked alongside Shepard Fairey, Dave Kinsey and Phillip DeWolff. Upon graduation, and Nick correct me if I get this part slightly incorrect, Nick created a thesis that was different from the design style that he was most familiar with. Abercrombie & Fitch seeing the potential that Nick had viewed some of his other work noticing that his thesis was not a representation of his normal work. So, A&F asked Nick to visit their Columbus, Ohio Home Office. Nick agreeing that he had nothing to lose decided that it would be in his favor to check it out. A&F "rolled out the red carpet" as Nick called it with private car services, hotel rooms and comped flights to check the place out. While in at the Home Office Nick was offered the job as Associate Designer.

Now I know what you're saying, "How can any respectable person subject themselves to working at a company that has so tainted their name as such?" Well, there was a deciding factor for Nick when it came to taking the job because Nick thought the same thing. When at the Home Office of A&F Nick noticed a guy walking around in a pair of Deth Killer jeans a company from Brunswick, NY so underground it is still barely heard of to this day. And some of the employees had tattoos. The look of many of the people there were not that of your typical Abercrombie & Fitch demographic, ie. weight lifting douche bag pretty boys, no offense (though I did say typical).

So over the next however long Nick was at A&F that which I don't think we discussed he was promoted to Designer and from there made his way to concept design. Giving Nick the ability to travel and scour flea markets and vintage stores and the like for the best of the best (the start of what will become A Time to Get). But Nick has grown a lot since then and is currently acting as a self proclaimed hack. For more information on that I would ask him. But, that is basically what I learned about Nick in the first 2 hours of hanging out with him. There was still another 5 hours of fun that would be in your favor if I didn't go into the details about.

But after a quick tour of his place and an introduction to Maggie and Eleanor (if my memory is not deceiving me I am pretty sure that was their names), Nick and Mel's two Italian Greyhounds, Nick and I took a drive to Opening Ceremony where we had 15 minutes to run through the place and made it with time to spare.

Nick was lucky enough enough to acquire a Model Porsche (the chassis is original but the rest is new from molds), as Nick would say, "Is it cool cause it is original or is it original cause it is cool?"

After we went to the Steven Alan store on Robertson near Melrose where Mel worked to try on some single needle shirts. We had a conversation earlier about the fit of the Steven Alan shirt and discussed how when I had tried on the shirt about two years ago they would pull a the top button because I have broad shoulders. Nick told me this was due to the reverse seam shirt and that the single needle should fit better. Being that his girlfriend worked there I took his word and tryed one on. And to my surprise it fit, and very well at that.

Then came the urges. My shopaholism kicked in and I was just about ready to whip out my debit card when I got a grip of myself. I successfully, or unsuccessfully depending on how you look at it got out of Steven Alan with my hands empty. And then it was off to Java Detour where we discussed the bullshit that is BMW and Mini because Mel's car (a mini) had blown the clutch and BMW and Mini does not cover clutches in their warranty, what kind of crap is that?

Nevertheless, After going back to Steven Alan, Mel told Nick and I about a antique/vintage watch store on Rosewood just off Robertson that was not the usual Wanna Buy A Watch called Second Time Around Watch Co.. So we stopped by there and talked to Jon, the owner, and the resident watch nerd about counterfiet watches like Rolex made in Shitzerland. The gentleman was nice, a bit of a conversationalist, but nice and willing to work with you on pricing. So, after looking at a Breitling or two and some others we walked back to Nick's car to head back to his place where he helped me with the functions of my site. So, all the updates and changes are thanks to him and him alone. Especially my new header which is beyond my knowledge of graphic design but took Nick all of two minutes to do.

The Concept Shelf, some of the coolest finds a man could own.

Nicks collection of Free & Easy and Lightning and a few other with some vintage baseball bats and an unused guitar he got for his birthday.

Like I said, this was not your conventional interview in any journalistic sense cause if it were this post would be have ended a few paragraphs earlier. So, I would like to thank Nick Maggio for entertaining me for the day and letting me delve into the behind the scenes of A Time to Get.

3 comments:

DrinkMoloko said...

Yayer. Nick is the dude of dudes.

Shaun @ TWGA said...

Yeah, he is awesome. I didn't even realize that 7 hours had passed. But, sorry for the technical difficulties with the pictures. They will be up soon enough.

A TIME TO GET said...

HAHA. Too good. I feel like a huge tool looking at pics of myself, but we had fun. Thanks again. It was too much fun for a Tuesday afternoon. Anytime.